Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News: March 07, 2011

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NEW NEWS…

Did you know that 2 hundred trillion text messages are received in America every single day which is more than a year’s worth of regular mail that’s received in America.  3,339 – that’s the average number of texts sent by American teens each month.  Texting is the #2 use of cell phones.  What is #1?  Checking the time.  ***MARLAR: Actually using your phone as a phone is like No. 23 or something.  Probably because they still haven’t found a way to keep your calls from being dropped.  Your phones can update Facebook, check your bank balance, even make deposits using your camera phone – but heaven forbid we create a cell phone that gets decent reception.

Does logging onto Facebook make you feel sad, as if everyone’s having fun but you? Maybe you’re just overestimating how happy your friends are. New research out of Stanford University suggests when we misgauge our friends’ negative feelings, we feel worse about ourselves.  Lead researcher Alex Jordan, explained some people tend to focus on the negative aspects of their own lives while focusing on the positive aspects of other people’s lives. “People think, ‘Why am I alone on a Saturday night or why I am not in a relationship?'” he said. “When people overestimate the happiness of friends, they felt more negatively about their own lives.”  ***MARLAR: One way to combat this is to focus on negative news about your friends on Facebook, and whenever you see it, click the “LIKE” button.

The Internal Revenue Service says it will need a battalion of 1,054 new auditors and staffers and new facilities at a cost to taxpayers of more than $359 million in fiscal 2012 just to watch over the initial implementation of President Obama’s healthcare reforms. ***MARLAR: 1,054 new IRS agents… that’s exactly what I was hoping to get with Obamacare.  How about you?  Is this also part of the stimulus package?  Maybe forcing people to pay higher taxes is now considered a shovel-ready job.

Fast-food chain KFC is working on replacing its 50-year-old claim that its chicken is “finger-lickin’ good” as part of a menu of changes aimed at promoting healthy eating and combating its negative image.  ***MARLAR: So, what body part can you lick to make it sound more healthy?

RETRO NEWS: FORMERLY NEW, NOW NOT NEW, BUT STILL ENTERTAINING…

An Iowa State University study found that wives have more power over decisions at home than husbands do.  ***MARLAR: The technical term for this condition is called, “marriage.”

The nation’s largest garbage hauler and landfill operator plans to spend roughly $400-million over the next five years building facilities at 60 landfills to convert methane gas to electricity.  It is Waste Management’s most ambitious renewable energy project to date.  The Environmental Protection Agency notes methane is the second-biggest man-made contributor to global warming behind carbon dioxide.  ***MARLAR: And if you grew up at my house with my dad, you’d already know that.

Europe’s first detox clinic for video game addicts has opened in Amsterdam. It’s not surprising that video games can be as addictive as gambling or drugs and they’re just as hard to kick. Some recovering gamers show withdrawal symptoms, such as shaking and sweating, when they look at a computer.  ***MARLAR: They have a Donkey Kong on their backs.

Yoga for kids is apparently the next biggest thing. In New York parents are even hiring instructors for yoga-themed birthday parties at $515 a session. “This is really a thrill to see them being healthy and having fun,” said one pleased parent. ***MARLAR: The best part for parents is being able to tell your kids to go sit in the corner for twenty minutes and meditate on what they’ve done wrong.  My parents would’ve killed to have that ability – but I guess “killing” defeats the whole yoga mindset.

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